MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs of 20-24 nucleotides that play important roles in carcinogenesis. Accordingly, miRNAs control numerous cancer-relevant biological events such as cell proliferation, cell cycle control, metabolism and apoptosis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge and concepts concerning the biogenesis of miRNAs, miRNA roles in cancer and their potential as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis including the regulation of key cancer-related pathways, such as cell cycle control and miRNA dysregulation. Moreover, microRNA molecules are already receiving the attention of world researchers as therapeutic targets and agents. Therefore, in-depth knowledge of microRNAs has the potential not only to identify their roles in cancer, but also to exploit them as potential biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and identify therapeutic targets for new drug discovery.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.